As a Memphis Tennessee bankruptcy attorney, I know one of the biggest fears people have about bankruptcy is telling their family. And with the holidays on the horizon and social distancing restrictions behind us, we can all expect to see more of our family and friends in the coming weeks. If you are thinking of filing for bankruptcy, you may be nervous about how to discuss your decision with your loved ones during this holiday season.
First of all, I’m here to assure you bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of. It can be a responsible decision that actually provides opportunities for a brighter future for you and your whole family. That being said, I know these conversations can be tricky to navigate.
Below are a few tips on how you can talk about your bankruptcy decision with the people you care about most.
Tips for talking to your family about bankruptcy
1. You are not obligated to tell everyone
Many people decide to tell their family and close friends about bankruptcy because they want support during the process. But you are not obligated to discuss your decision to file with anyone unless they are affected directly by your decision to file. It is okay to pick and choose who you share your choice to file for bankruptcy with.
But be open to being pleasantly surprised. Clients tell me all the time that often the family member they were most worried about telling is the one who was the most understanding.
1. Consider what you want to say beforehand
Difficult discussions are always a challenge, but preparing for the situation can help. If you know you are going to be spending Thanksgiving or Christmas with your family, consider what you want to tell them beforehand. These tips from PsychCentral about discussing difficult topics might help make the conversation easier.
Also, anticipate questions you might be asked. Knowing how you want to answer questions about your decision to file can help you feel more prepared and confident.
2. Be honest
After over 30 years as a Memphis Tennessee bankruptcy attorney, I know honesty is always the best policy. Though it may be difficult, I advise people to be up front and honest about their situation. But if speaking to someone face-to-face feels like too much to handle, consider calling them on the phone, or writing a letter or email explaining your choice to file.
3. Highlight the benefits
Bankruptcy has countless benefits you can highlight to your family to help them understand why this is a positive choice. For example, bankruptcy:
- Protects your home from foreclosure
- Protects your car from repossession
- Prevents wage garnishment
- Stops collector harassment
- Avoids unaffordable payment plans
Young children especially can think bankruptcy means losing everything. Reassure them that you will still keep your home, and that you will be able to feed, clothe, and take care of them. Bankruptcy doesn’t have to mean losing a sense of safety.
5. Focus on the future
Ultimately, filing for bankruptcy means setting yourself up for a brighter financial future. Focus on how bankruptcy will make your family’s life better down the road. You will finally be able to improve your credit score, get a fresh start with a clean financial slate, and start saving for things you maybe only dreamed of. These could include a new home, an education for your kids, or retirement.
Contact a Memphis Tennessee bankruptcy attorney today to for a FREE consultation
If you’re considering filing for bankruptcy, you need a bankruptcy attorney you can trust. Our team of compassionate and experienced attorneys have helped thousands of families get out of debt and give their children the future they deserve. Contact us online or give us a call at 901-327-2100 today to hear how we can help you. The consultation is absolutely FREE.
Whether you choose to tell your family about filing for bankruptcy or not, we are here to support you every step of the way. Give us a call today.